Green watchdog red faced over emissions
SCOTLAND'S top environmental watchdog, which urges citizens to fight global warming by reducing the amount of climate-changing gases they produce, has blown an embarrassing hole in its own attempts to curb emissions.
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) takes a leading role in trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from homes, businesses and transport, but it now admits that its own emissions rose by a total of almost 10%, or 200 tonnes, last year.
Environmental groups said the agency was guilty of sending out the wrong messages to the rest of the country.
Stirling-based Sepa has set its own target of slashing emissions from its buildings and transport to at least 25% below its 2006 total within the next three years.
But a review has found that its own performance in reducing carbon emissions merits an amber warning, meaning it "remains a concern". "Overall there has been a 9.4% rise, or an additional 200 tonnes in CO2, for the first three-quarters of 2008-9 compared to the same period in the baseline year of 2006-7," a report says.
Dan Barlow, head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: "It is critical that all public bodies play their part in meeting the Government's promise of reducing Scotland's emissions by 80% by 2050. As the Government agency charged with protecting the environment, Sepa needs to be top of the list in showing leadership."
Corinne Evans, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "Public sector bodies, such as Sepa, have a real responsibility to reduce their emissions in line with Scotland's targets."
Paula Charleson, Sepa's sustainable development manager, said: "Our three year target states Sepa will reduce CO2 emissions by 25% below the 2006-7 baseline by March 31, 2012.
"We are currently reporting this target as 'amber', but this is a long-term target and we have confidence that proposed plans over the next three years will enable Sepa to reach it."
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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